by Dr. Jack Singer
Laugh Away Your Stress – Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Through Laughter
Laughter truly is the best medicine. A healthy daily dose of laughter can cut through the deepest feelings of stress and anxiety. Laughter can replace those feelings with a sense of joy that strengthens you to overcome any obstacle you face. Laughter also enhances your relationships by bringing you and the ones you love closer together.
Laughter can have positive effects on your physical health, too. Enjoying funny jokes or silly moments can help you feel more relaxed and less tense. This puts less pressure on your body’s systems and may even promote a healing response within your body.
When you’re feeling intense emotions, laughter can be a powerful tool to work through them. A healthy sense of humor acts as an emotional distraction and creates a fresh perspective on your circumstance. Laughter is often the quickest and most effective way to combat strong feelings of anger and frustration.
Try these ideas to experience more of the power of laughter in your life, starting today:
- Dedicate twenty minutes to whole-hearted laughter in the morning. For best results, practice this exercise with your entire family. If your family laughs together every day, you’ll be closer and experience more open relationships with each other. Watch a funny sitcom you all enjoy, or share funny jokes and anecdotes. While this can be done any time during the day, starting your day off with laughter first thing in the morning gives your day a fresh, positive start.
- Discover your humor profile. Find what kind of jokes or scenarios make you laugh, and then pursue more of these things. Comedy shows, movies, and plays can help you discover what tickles your funny bone. This lighthearted process of discovery alone can increase your sense of joy and happiness almost overnight.
- Keep jolly and jovial company. Having happy people around you spreads the bug of laughter. A healthy sense of humor is highly infectious. So is stinking thinking. Surround yourself with lighthearted people that see the good and funny aspects of any situation. A sense of humor supplements your worldview. Surrounding yourself with people that create a positive view of the world makes the heavy lifting of life easier.
- Develop your lighter side. When you make mistakes, find the humor in it. Be willing to laugh at yourself and enjoy the humor in your mistakes. When you practice finding the funny aspects of your most challenging situations, you’ll be at ease and better able to cope with the stresses you face.
- Share your funny moments. Funny things are happening around you all the time. Squeeze every ounce of joy you can out of them by sharing them with others. Laughter is contagious, and it’s much more fun to laugh with a friend than by yourself.
Opportunities for laughter are all around you. Today, make a conscious choice to look out for the funny aspects of any situation. Give yourself permission to laugh out loud. When you do, you’ll regularly experience a deep sense of joy that’ll carry you through the most challenging moments of your life.
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis